With Tyron Smith injured and out for most of the season, the Cowboys have been considering some options for his replacement. Jason Peters is a big-name tackle who has had a great career in the NFL. A lot of fans are excited about the prospect of signing him, but I’m not so sure. I think it could potentially be a move they might come to regret.
Injuries are unfortunately part of the game. No one likes to see them, and when it happens to a key player it can send an entire fan base spiraling down. This was definitely the case when Tyron Smith got injured last week. He’s an anchor on that offensive line, and the man most responsible for keeping Dak Prescott upright. Needless to say, replacing him this season is going to be a tough task.
The Cowboys invited Jason Peters for a workout, this Wednesday. A lot of fans on Twitter were really excited about the prospect of signing him. I am not so excited, personally. I think signing him could be a mistake that we might regret.
Jason Peters Is 40 Years Old
By most athletic standards 40 is considered old. In football, it’s downright ancient. Only a handful of players have ever played at that age. This is a young man’s game. You need to be able to recover quickly to play this game at a high level, and the older you get the harder that becomes.
Peters did have a decent season last year with the Chicago Bears, but the last time he made the pro bowl was in 2016. That was the end of a nine-year streak of him being there. He’s just not the same player he used to be. Really no one is at 40. Tom Brady is the only exception I’ve ever seen. The big difference though is Brady doesn’t take anywhere near the number of hits an offensive lineman takes. So, it’s a little easier for Brady to still play at a high level. Brady just doesn’t get as beat up from game to game as Peters will be.
It’s Not Just Jason’s Age It’s Also The Mileage
One of the first things I thought about when I heard the news about Jason’s visit was this clip from Indiana Jones. As he says “It’s not the years, it’s the mileage.” It’s a joke because that phrase is most commonly applied to cars, not people. There is a lot of truth to the statement though. Forty years old can feel a whole lot older if you’ve been in the equivalent of a few hundred car wrecks every Sunday.
Jason Peters has played for 17 seasons. That’s A LOT of mileage, especially playing on the offensive line. Those guys take the brunt of all the punishment every single Sunday. If they are on the field they are involved in heavy contact every single play.
Just like a high mileage car though, the risk of something that could end it all gets much higher. Signing him would be taking a HUGE risk.
Peters Still Has To Learn A New System
The offensive line is one of the hardest positions to play in football. It’s not just standing in front of a defender and keeping him off the ball. As an offensive lineman, you have to know not just your assignments, but also practically everyone else’s too. You can’t just plug and play like you can with some other positions. Learning a new system takes time, even for an accomplished veteran like Jason Peters.
The Cowboys’ schedule is stacked at the beginning of the season. If they bring him in he might not be ready for the first couple of weeks. With the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Cincinnati Bengals for the first two games, Dallas can’t really afford to take too big of a risk here. Jason is a smart and capable player, but having to deal with those two defenses to start the season could be a little overwhelming even for him.
If the Cowboys sign Peters, I really hope I am wrong about all of this. They will really have their work cut out for them this season without Tyron Smith. Let’s hope they figure out a way to weather the storm.